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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

List: Ten ways to save money holiday shopping.

I know, I know.  It’s only September and I’m already posting about Christmas.
And to think, I got annoyed last week when I saw Halloween things in CVS.  Hypocrite much?
While I know that we still have a whopping four months until the holidays, it’s time to start.
Starting the season early has many benefits that serious savers need to bank on.
That means get up and get ready to start playing Santa Claus!

As sick as this sounds, I made my first Christmas gift purchase almost a month ago.
Typically I don’t start THAT early, but it was such a great deal that I couldn’t pass it up.
We’re talking a $60 toy that I got for $15 after sales and some serious couponing.  Score!
If I could find closet space in mytiny apartment to hide gifts and save cash, you could too.
The money you’ll save is worth the extra time and effort.  You’ll also save yourself some stress!

Ten ways to save money holiday shopping.

1.  Start as early as possible.
For the amount of gifts I have to get between family and spoiling Mushy, 4 months is a key number.
Avoiding the holiday madness will save money on gas, your valuable time, and crazy holiday mark ups.
Spending smaller amounts over a longer period of time will lessen the blow and saves serious stress!

2.  Get organized.
Create an excel spreadsheet listing everyone that you know you will need to buy a gift for.
This allows you to track everything and prevent overbuying.  Overspending doesn’t save you money.
Excel is seriously a money lifesaver!  I use it for everything from grocery lists to my monthly budget.

3.  Set a per person budget.
Add a new column to your spreadsheet to budget a reasonable amount you will spend per person.
Setting a budget changes perspective.  You’ll save money by avoiding expensive gifts you can’t afford.
Extra Tip:  I make 3 columns-Budget amount, gift worth, and money spent.  I track everything!

4.  Shop the weekly circulars for your favorite stores.
Pick your favorite store and browse their weekly circular every Sunday to stumble on great deals.
Over the course of four months you’re guaranteed to get all the gifts at a sales price and really save.
Not to mention, it’s a lot of fun trying to snag deals!  I eep every time I see a toy at a great price.

5.  Hunt for multiple coupons.
Utilize websites like CouponSherpa, RetailMeNot, and Coupons.com for savings on top of sales.
Some stores, like Target, let you use store coupons AND manufacturer coupons for triple savings.
Nothing makes me happier than seeing my sales total cut in half using stacked coupons!

6.  Discover the Target Cartwheel application.
When you shop at Target, sales prices, store coupons, and manufacturer coupons are just the start.
The Target Cartwheel app adds on additional discounts taken from your total.  Download it and use it!
To add to the fun, last season Target added a toy a day for an extra 50% off using the Cartwheel.

7.  Make use of the dollar store.
No matter how many coupons or sales you find on wrapping supplies, you’ll rarely beat the $1 store.
I buy all of my tape, gift tags, tissue paper, gifts bags, ribbons, bows, etc from the dollar to save cash.
I don’t buy dollar store wrapping paper.  I can cheap out on most wrapping supplies, but not paper.  #Fail

8.  Shop craft fairs.
Every year my church and the local schools host crafts fairs with lots of vendors and activities.
I love these to buy smaller gifts such as handmade soaps, potpourri bowls, or local artwork.
Not to mention, Santa Claus and his little helpers visit the fair to take some free pictures!

9.  Wrap “filler” gifts.
When playing Santa Claus, wrap one big gift, several medium gifts, and a few filler gifts.
A filler gift is something inexpensive and silly, but still fun to open and serves a purpose.
Last year I got my God son a snow ball maker/mold as a filler gift from Walgreens for $2.  He loved it!

10.  Avoid using credit cards.
The money saved shopping for deals and using coupons means nothing if you’re being charged interest.
Try to pay cash for all holiday gifts to avoid interest charges.  Starting early will help make this feasible.
If you need to pay with a store card to use a coupon, pay the full balance off before interest can accrue.


How do you save money holiday shopping?

14 comments :

  1. I save by not holiday shopping LOL

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  2. I'm all for shopping early when you see a good deal! Just don't bring out the decorations until Thanksgiving is done! lol....

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  3. I do mine online, easy to find coupons and I'm always done by november, except maybe the dirty gifts from Cassie and Orlin lol

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  4. Great tips, and it's never too early to shop for those special people in our lives. Thanks!

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  5. This will be my year to get it done early! I swear, every single year I try to do it and never do, and this is my year. and yes, the dollar tree for wrapping stuff, always- always.

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  6. I really like the dollar store for gift bags and greeting cards. I get most of my nephews and nieces toys from Ollie's Bargain Outlet. They specialize in factory sendbacks and other stuff. Some of their things aren't a good deal, but you never know what you might find. It's kind of like Big Lots but with more variety

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  7. I made my first gift purchase a few weeks ago too, and I'm also a hypocrite because I got annoyed a store here had Halloween stuff out so soon. I hide gifts in my luggage haha

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  8. I started my Christmas shopping several weeks ago. When I see something at a good price that would make a nice gift, I'm all over it.

    Love,
    Janie

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  9. I've never head of that Target app, sweeeeet! Thanks for sharing, all very helpful tips.

    Breakfast at Gracey's

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  10. RetailMeNot is suuuuuch a great resource- I use it before I pull the trigger on an online purchase!

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

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  11. Avoid using credit cards? How in the world am I gonna do that? What... you made your first Christmas gift purchase almost a month ago? Well, I'm impressed. You sure ARE methodical. X-mas... it's only111 days away from you. Be patient and shop wisely.

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  12. I know "holiday" is kind of a dirty word right now but there's no shame in being prepared. I'm working on Thanksgiving things already

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